White and Nerdy
Originally Posted by BigWillie
Here is just a practice report to give you an idea of what is going on.
This guy does not give the best coverage in the world, as he contradicts himself a bit throughout his blog in how he talks about Herian, Beck and Rowe, but it is better than nothing.
I love how he describes Paul Soliali in this report. He would seem to be almost too perfect a NT for us, which is why we won't draft him.
Here is the Wednesday practice report ...
January 17, 2007
Wednesday Shrine Bowl practice report
[View Full Quote]Today the East and the West came together and went at it in individual drills, 7-on-7 drills and team scrimmages. Some recognizable faces who attended the practice included Andre Johnson, Andre Ware, former Ohio State coach John Cooper, Kevin Kolb, Monica Seles, Nebraska DE Adam Carriker, former Texans offensive line coach Tony Marciano, Art Briles, UH assistant coach and former Miami Hurricane and Houston Gambler Tony Fitzpatrick, former Oklahoma tight end Keith Jackson and Forest Whitaker who just won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Idi Amin in "Last King of Scotland". OK, Seles and Whitaker weren't there, but everyone else was.
Notables from practice:
* Texas Tech WR Joel Filani had one drop that I was able to count, but other than that, he had a good practice. He gets in and out of his cuts quickly and seems to be a solid route runner. Filani is helping his cause this week.
* Nebraska TE Matt Herrian looks painfully slow and he's clearly not back from the devastating knee injury from 2004 that cost him all of last season. In the passing game, he just won't have the ability to get much separation on the next level.
* Michigan WR Steve Breaston had a very nice practice making the difficult catches and the easy ones. One former NFL player commented that Breaston was the most impressive WR he saw all day.
* Iowa State RB Stevie Hicks is just as unimpressive in practice this week as he was during the season. He doesn't hit holes with authority, and he doesn't run behind his pads at all.
* Florida DT Steven Harris looked terrific in one-on-one drills vs. offensive linemen. He looks very quick off the ball and showed good pass rushing moves for a college DT.
* Washington State sackmaster Mkristo Bruce looks somewhat light, but he could easily carry 15 to 20 more pounds on his frame. I thought Bruce looked just OK in one on ones, but he cranked up the intensity during the team scrimmages.
* Texas DE Brian Robison is noticeably shorter than the tackles he is going up against, but he played with speed and leverage and was regularly beating tackles in one-on-one drills (and letting them know about it).
* Smallish DE Justin Hickman from UCLA looked much better to me today than he did on Monday. He has some trouble going one on one against tackles, but it was a different story in the team scrimmage. Hickman is starting to remind me of a Shaun Phillips when he came out of Purdue. Hickman is probably best suited to a 3-4 as a pass rushing OLB.
* Utah DT Paul Soliai is one of my favorite DTs to watch in one-on-one drills because at 6'4 / 325 he is way too strong for most guards and/or centers, including respected Clemson G Nathan Bennett, to handle. He simply collapses the pocket almost every time out in one on ones, and if I were a team looking for a plugger, this guy would be on my list.
* Another of my favorite players at this game is Nebraska DT Ola Dagunduro. He's not the biggest guy, but he's quick off the ball and gets his hands on the O-lineman very quickly. I think he'll be drafted on the second day and make a team that is looking for an up-the-field DT.
* Center Kyle Young from Fresno State is big and strong and has played with a nasty streak the entire time. Once he gets you down, you are going to get his full 330 pounds crashing down on top.
* Florida State OT Mario Henderson has shown good feet and an ability to keep the speed guys like OU's Larry Birdine and UCLA's Justin Hickman from beating him around the edge. He is considered borderline draftable going into this game, but I think he'll impress enough NFL people to get drafted this week.
* Former Arkansas and current Alabama State CB Michael Coe had a very good showing in one-on-one drills against WRs Paul Williams (Fresno St.) and Joel Filani. He had two deflections in a row, including one on a post pattern where he was beaten by Filani but still showed the recovery speed needed to make a play on the ball. At 6'1 and with good hips, he is going to move up the draft board.
* Everyone loves Arkansas LB Sam Olajubutu. He plays with great instincts, diagnoses running plays quickly and zips to the ball. The problem? He's only 5'9 / 228. He's too small to be on the field on the next level, but he's too good a football player not to be on somebody's special teams unit.
* Nevada QB Jeff Rowe showed a strong arm and was very accurate with his throws in 7-on-7 drills.
* The West defensive unit DOMINATED the East offense throughout the scrimmage with Justin Hickman, Oklahoma State DT Larry Brown, Mkristo Bruce and Larry Birdine leading the way. Birdine was screaming and yelling with excitement after one set of plays and Mike Singletary (coach of the West LBs) was chuckling the entire time.
* Speaking of Singletary, after practice was over, he pulled Cal Poly LB Kyle Shotwell aside and worked with him on footwork. It is a lot of fun to watch Singletary work with young men, and I'm excited to see how he does when he gets his shot as a head coach in the NFL.
* Tulane QB Lester Ricard showed good poise in the pocket as well as a live arm. He and South Carolina WR Syvelle Newton hooked up for a couple of nice connections.
If anyone here remembers me from DCFU.....Breaston along with Aaron Ross were the two guys I have been coveting the entire college football season. Breaston can be a 2nd day gem for us hopefully...
Many of my early mocks had us going after Brian Robison. He has never been the biggest guy but he is always around the ball and always making the critical play when UT needs it. I love his nonstop motor and he has a bit of cockiness which is good for a DE to have.
Kyle Young has appeared on my mocks as has Soliai. I have since dropped Young, but I would definitely not be angry if Dallas drafted him. He would be a nice little nugget to put at Center or even Guard. As for Soliai, he too is on and off my mocks. I want this kid. However, because we only have a set number of picks (8), I cannot put all the players I want on my mock....(about 12-14 players)
As for Olajubutu, can anyone say Zach Thomas or Dexter Coakley? I am not saying we will ever draft him.....but if they guy can play...the size won't matter too much. I think the team that drafts him can move him to SS or even use him on ST and as a backup LB in emergency situations.